A group of Master Masons talk about topics of Masonic interest--each from their own unique perspective. You'll find a wide range of subjects including history, trivia, travel, book reviews, great quotes, and hopefully a little humor as well on topics of interest for Freemasons and those interested in the subject of Freemasonry.
Increasing Your Lodge Visibility: The Second In A Series
by Midnight Freemason Contributor
W.B. Gregory J. Knott
In the first
installment of this series, I discussed the idea of setting in motion the goal
for improving Now that you
have decided that you want to improve and grow your lodge, how do you increase
awareness to others about a group that is supposedly a secret society?As many others have said and I came to
quickly realize, we are a society with secrets, not a secret society. How do you explain this to others?So as to not reinvent the wheel, I encourage
you to read
the post by R.W.B. Michael H. Shirley and Todd E. Creason 33° about
creating a message about what Freemasonry is.
In this post I want to focus on how to make your lodge more
visible and share some of the ideas that St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 .As I learned visibility comes in a variety of
ways and including physical visibility.
we have used at
Your lodge meets somewhere, and there is a very good chance
that your lodge is an extremely important part of the physical community.Perhaps you are in a downtown area or have
moved the lodge to a growing part of the town on the fringe.Either way your physical lodge may be the
first contact or impression that the general public has of Freemasonry.
Many of our Masonic buildings are
older, how well is yours maintained?Does it have weeds growing around it and trash piled up?As we know a first impression plays a vital
role in what people think.The exterior
of our lodge was generally OK.Our
building is located in the heart of the old downtown business district and we
have 2 commercial spaces on the ground level that are rented out and have
hosted a variety of businesses over the years.
But the back of our building was a complete mess.Weeds, garbage, broken glass, stumps, etc.
all were very visible.To make it worse
we have a bank behind our building with the drive thru that goes right by
us.Each day, hundreds of persons were
driving by and the mess was their impression of our lodge.
One day, we were talking and decided to start cleaning up
this area.The trash, weeds and glass
were all removed.We then decided,
wouldn’t it be nice to have a patio to use.So we had a nice cement pad poured for the patio.A short time later we had one of the local
Scouts who approached us needing a project to earn his Eagle Scout badge.
He proposed creating a covering for the new patio.This would add some curb appeal and create
some much needed shade in this open area.The Lodge approved the project and contributed both funds and manpower
to help the Scout complete his project.One of the brothers donated some concrete planters and my wife Brooke
and son Hayden did some plantings that really give the patio some color.
Hayden Knott at the St. Joseph Lodge Patio
The end result?Each
day as customers of the bank come through the drive thru, they see a very
nicely built and landscaped area.We
put up a sign that clearly identifies the building as Masonic, which you cannot
help but see as you come through the drive through.
How did this help the lodge?We received dozens of positive comments from the residents of St. Joseph
who really were glad to see the area cleaned up.The Scout, his father and brother all became
members of our lodge (we will have another post about working with others in
the community).The lodge has a nice
place to have cookouts and gather.
So that first impression that others have of your building
and lodge may be helped with some good old fashioned cleaning and little bit of
Our next installment will be focused on working with others
in the community and how this can impact membership.
WB Gregory J. Knott is the Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL). He's a member of both the Scottish Rite, and the York Rite, and is the Charter Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club in Champaign-Urbana. He's also a member of the Ansar Shrine (IL) and the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. He holds membership also in The Masonic Society, The Scottish Rite Research Society and the Philalethes Society. Greg is very involved in Boy Scouts--an Eagle Scout himself, he serves the Grand Lodge of Illinois A. F. & A. M. as their representative to the National Association of Masonic Scouters.